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Articles > Weight Loss > How to Measure Your Body Fat
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Increasingly people are starting to become conscious that losing body fat is more important to the way you look than just losing weight. Popular methods to get body fat measured are Bioelectrical Impedance using a scale, or a handheld body fat analyzer because these techniques are easy and you can do it yourself in the privacy of your own home. These methods measure body fat by passing a current through your body and are also great for watching trends in body fat.

Exercisers getting in shape will drop fat pounds and gain muscle pounds. The techniques to measure body fat unfortunately are not a snap. Here are some other ways to measure body fat composition:
1. Dual energy X-ray absorption method – the best method for accuracy.
2. Near Infrared rays measurement method
3. Skin calipers method – the most practical technique.
4. The Bod-Pod – and up-and-coming piece of equipment that works on a premise similar to underwater weighing but uses air displacement to make calculations.

The measurement of % body fat is now extensively used and recommended as a gauge of fitness. Perhaps the most important single thing the monitoring of % body fat will do is determine changes in muscle tissue over time. Studies have revealed quite a few remarkable things about body composition and muscle tissue. A person who weighs, for example, 160 lbs at age 20 has 16 lbs of fat and 144 pounds of everything else (bones, muscle, organs etc.). But at age 55, this person who still weights 165 lbs has 40 lbs of fat and 120 lbs of everything else.

Body fat is a great indicator of progress. Like all other measures of success, remember that body fat should be used as a tool and nothing more. Why agonize about becoming any leaner if you are 12% body fat but feel like you are in the best shape of your life and love how you look?

By assessing your body fat, you take the speculation out of your health and fitness plan and get a precise picture of what's truly taking place in your body as a result of your health and fitness program. Rather than being unsure if you are losing fat, or worrying about losing muscle, you can measure it and KNOW for sure. You can calculate your body composition rather than being mystified by all the "opinions" from weight loss and exercise "specialists" who are all telling you something different, and based on the results, you can KNOW for sure whether your program is working.

Body fat is usually given as a percentage of total weight. Aerobic workouts to burn body fat should last at least twelve minutes, not counting warm up or cool down, only the amount of time your heart rate is in your training zone. The longer and more often you do this the sooner you'll see an improvement. Why twelve minutes? According to experts, this is the amount of time needed by the body to start producing fat burning enzymes.

Body Mass In Body Fat Measurement
What do all the numbers mean – weight, body fat, body mass index? A number of authorities tout BMI, or body mass index, as the most precise method to determine the effect of weight on your health. The CDC gives the following ranges for BMI values for adults:

Underweight Less than 18.5
Recommended 18.6 to 24.9
Overweight 25.0 to 29.9
Obese 30 or greater

Nutrition And The Body
The human body in many respects is comparable to a high performance sports car. In order to keep it running smoothly you must personalize your diet and increase your knowledge of the food groups. PROTEIN like the high-grade metal used for a sports car, is used to build a great body. CARBOHYDRATE is to the human body what gas is to a high performance machine. FAT is an alternative source of energy.

Selecting A Program To Help You Lose Fat
Here are some questions to ask before you make a decision to join any kind of weight control program:
• Does the program offer counseling to help you adjust your eating activity, and personal habits?
• Is the team made up of a variety of trained counselors and health specialists such as nutritionists, registered dietitians, doctors, nurses, psychologists and exercise psychologists?
• Is guidance offered on how to cope with times when you may feel stressed and slip back to old habits?
• Is consideration given to keeping the weight off?
• Are food choices flexible and suitable?

You lose fat, and you build muscle. Most diets don't work for long-term fat loss. They're concerned with reducing weight rather than burning excess body fat. Good or bad, the body tissue you have today has been constructed almost wholly from the foods you have eaten over the last six months. Make a pledge today to renew your body composition. Watch calories, and avoid excessive fats and carbohydrates.

How To Build Lean Body Mass
Improve your energy levels, rev up your metabolism and build the lean body you want by following these steps:
1. To follow your progress, measure your body fat percentage before making nutritional or exercise changes
2. Strength train to build lean body mass
3. Understand that there is no such thing as spot reducing
4. Use up more calories than you consume
5. Bear in mind that you have to produce a deficit of 3500 calories in order to lose one pound of body fat
6. Include cardiovascular training in your workout


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Controlling Your Bodyweight and Body Fat
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